Synopses & Reviews
When long-serving Kentucky sheriff Lew Mattock is murdered by a confused, drug-addicted teenager, chief deputy Harlan Dupee is tasked with solving the crime.
But as Harlan soon discovers, his former boss wasn't exactly an innocent.
The investigation throws Harlan headlong into the burgeoning OxyContin trade, from the slanted steps of trailer parks to the manicured porches of prominent citizens, from ATV parks and tobacco farms to riverboat casinos and country clubs.
As the evidence draws him closer to his unlikely suspect, Harlan comes to question whether the law can even right a wrong during the corrupt and violent years that followed the release of OxyContin.
Jesse Donaldson's debut novel The More They Disappear takes us to the front lines of the battle against small-town drug abuse. It is an unnerving tale of addiction, loss, and the battle to overcome the darkest parts of ourselves.
Near the start of Donaldson's well written grim first novel set in 1998 troubled teenager Mary Jane Finley kills Sheriff Lew Mattock with a rifle shot at a fund raising barbecue in Marathon Ky. That action roils the lives of many Marathoners including deputy Harlan Dupee who suddenly finds himself sheriff and the members of Mattock's family: his widow Mabel; his son Lewis; and Lewis's wife Sophie. Mary Jane's boyfriend Mark Gaines who's Sophie's brother and their father Dr. Trip Gaines are also affected. While Dupee a reluctant and unprepared sheriff begins to uncover Mattock's secrets (bribes affairs gambling debts) drug user Mary Jane and drug dealer Mark make ineffectual attempts to flee the area. Others including the manipulative Trip convince reluctant Lewis to run for sheriff. Donaldson relentlessly tracks the devastating fallout from Mattock's death as it sweeps through Marathon. Agent: David Hale Smith Inkwell Management Literary. (Aug.) " Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
"A heartbreaking whydunnit set in the ferocious Kentucky hills, The More They Disappear is relentless but masterful in its portrayal of love, addiction, and lonesomeness." Smith Henderson, author of Fourth of July Creek
"People die, drug deals go wrong, things get real ugly, but the heart of this novel is its attentiveness to all the ways we fail to love and be loved." Michael Parker, author of The Watery Part of the World
"This feels like what Denis Johnson, Richard Price, or even Graham Greene might have written if they had the precise feel for the region that gave us bluegrass and bourbon." Daniel Torday, author of The Last Flight of Poxl West
"Smart and fast-paced but also deeply humane —The More They Disappear is everything I look for in a novel." Holly Goddard Jones, author of The Next Time You See Me
"The More They Disappear delivers everything a reader could want. On one hand a compelling literary thriller, on the other a deep and generous meditation on life in a small town torn by addiction, poverty, and corruption." Philipp Meyer, author of The Son
About the Author
Jesse Donaldson was born and raised in Kentucky, attended Kenyon College and Oregon State University, and was a fellow at The Michener Center for Writers in Austin, Texas. His writing has appeared in The Oxford American, Little Star, and Crazyhorse. Among other things, he's worked as a gardener, copywriter, teacher, and maintenance man. He currently lives in Oregon with his wife and daughter. The More They Disappear is his first novel.